Quick Search

Discuss HanDBase running on S60 devices by Nokia, Samsung and others.

Quick Search

Postby dhaupert » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:04 pm

This posting was added to an existing thread on a different platform, but I thought it was relevant to post it here and respond to it. Here goes:

Dave,

I have just started evaluating your software and noticed immediately that Quick Search is problematical. I believe I have seen the same problem as the above users report and I am attempting to reproduce it. I see plenty of user-unfriendly behaviour.

I have your latest release for Symbian S60 v3 on Nokia E63.

As a test example, I am using your supplied "Movie Juke Box" db and in DB Properties => Fields => Options => Quick Search Field => I have nominated the field "Title".

With that db open and in Default View, the records are sorted in ascending order of Title field.
I am initially pointing to record "40 ..."
I type letter B (or letter b) and the bottom record on the screen blanks out and the cursor positions itself at the left end of that bottom line; the highlight has not moved from record "40 ..."

(I am not sure what I should have done to get into Quick Search mode, but thought I could just type the first letter I'm searching for.)

I type letter B again, and this time the letter appears on that otherwise-blank bottom line (the cursor stays there) and the highlight does now move to the first "B..." record, although in previous tests it did not (I think it may have changed behaviour when I went through the db properties again).

I don't understand why the correct record was not chosen the first time around on the first keypress. It's a nuisance to have to press it twice.


At this point I don't know what I'm supposed to do, and the application does not behave well. If I press the Nokia SELECT key, nothing happens, as the cursor is still on the bottom line of the screen. It's as if an option is missing from the bottom middle of the screen, an option like "SELECT" which other applications display in a context like this.

On the bottom right of the Nokia screen is displayed "Back", but if I hit that button, the action to me is wrong and non-intuitive. I'd expect the app to reverse out of the Quick Search, but it doesn't; the app terminates completely and I'm back out to the "Choose Database" screen. This is surely a bug.
The first Back should reverse out of the the Quick Search; the second Back could then reverse out of the app completely. That would be correct.

The other possibility, if I DON'T choose "back" in Quick Search, is to choose either UP or DOWN, which seems to terminate the Quick Search (again I find this non-intuitive) and which leaves the highlight on the desired record. This seems a particularly user-unfriendly way of saying "yes, Done, I want that record you have found".

Incidentally, nothing to do with this point but very noticeable, is the difficulty of finding a function to actually delete a record out of a table.
If the highlight is on a record and I hit Options, I see a menu "New Record", "Views", "Find", etc - why isn't there a delete option in that menu ??
Every other Nokia application does have a delete option in that situation.

Further, if I select a record and get one record on the screen in the sort of ugly "form view" (three fields only on the screen, with the phone set to the smallest font, and with massively inefficient use of screen real estate, all as noted by other S60v3 users), and then, if I hit Options, I get a menu "Details", "Copy to New", etc but STILL no delete, and I'd expect a delete option here like other apps provide, also. I simply cannot find how to delete a record, which amazes me.


A futher off-topic indulgence if I may: on installation, I chose to install the app to the memory card (E:) and it did, but all the sample apps installed to the phone (C:) anyway. I hope there won't be an issue putting databases on E: - while the app itself is irrelevant in terms of memory use, it is important to be able to choose where the databases go.

And yet another to save my posting lots of tiny messages: in a Notes field, which to my discomfort I note can contain only half the characters (2,000) that a Palm could 12 years ago (4,000), is there any way of inputting TAB characters for formatting purposes ?
I am attempting (with great difficulty) to migrate from PalmOS and I have thousands of Notes fields using TABs for formatting.



I'll try further to reproduce the original bug which I have definitely seen but which I suspect has been suppressed by the act of changing the nominated Quick Search Field and possibly the View/sort sequence.

Thank you,
BBB
dhaupert
 
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Re: Quick Search

Postby dhaupert » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:25 pm

Now, to respond to it:

Please do let me know if you can duplicate the behavior you're seeing, as we can investigate this as a possible bug.

Incidentally, nothing to do with this point but very noticeable, is the difficulty of finding a function to actually delete a record out of a table.
If the highlight is on a record and I hit Options, I see a menu "New Record", "Views", "Find", etc - why isn't there a delete option in that menu ??
Every other Nokia application does have a delete option in that situation.

Further, if I select a record and get one record on the screen in the sort of ugly "form view" (three fields only on the screen, with the phone set to the smallest font, and with massively inefficient use of screen real estate, all as noted by other S60v3 users), and then, if I hit Options, I get a menu "Details", "Copy to New", etc but STILL no delete, and I'd expect a delete option here like other apps provide, also. I simply cannot find how to delete a record, which amazes me.


The delete record option is (I believe) under details within a record. That's where it resided on the Palm version it was ported from so if memory serves, that's also where we'd put it on S60. As for why we don't include a delete option in the list view- we have sets of record operations that carry out on a single record or a group of records. We have always separated them such that in the list view, the operations you do are on the current filtered group of records, and the operations you do on a single record are done with the edit record screen. So that's why there is no delete option in the list view for a single record.

And yet another to save my posting lots of tiny messages: in a Notes field, which to my discomfort I note can contain only half the characters (2,000) that a Palm could 12 years ago (4,000), is there any way of inputting TAB characters for formatting purposes ?
I am attempting (with great difficulty) to migrate from PalmOS and I have thousands of Notes fields using TABs for formatting.


Interesting you should mention the Palm memo limitation here. The Palm database format (PDB) supports up to 65535 characters per record. It's the same format that the Memo pad app used there, and the same format we use on our databases. The Palm memo limit was actually completely arbitrary, since that had room for 65K characters but chose 4K. The reason for our 2K limit comes from the fact that we can have multiple fields within a record, as well as header data and such, so all of your data within a record has to fit within 65K. If there are 30 note fields, when combined that alone can reach 60K, which leaves 5K for headers and the rest of the fields. I felt that was an acceptable limitation as many users do want more than a handful of note fields.

If in the future we modify this, it will involve either migrating away from the 65K limit in a PDB structure, or having fewer note fields allowed in a database. But neither can happen until we hit a major version update since every platform we support would have to change with it!
dhaupert
 
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Re: Quick Search

Postby bbb » Fri Apr 02, 2010 12:47 pm

Dave,

Thanks for your reply.

1. I have found delete where you said (actually a further level lower) - it is very hard to find and laborious in terms of keystrokes. Also, under "Details", that screen scrolls but there is something wrong with the scroll behaviour. As I scroll down, the scroll indicator at the right edge of the screen indicates that I am only 1/3 of the way through, but after 4 or so fields I have hit the end of the form and can't go any further.

2. Please do note my comments in the original post about the unfriendly way Quick Search is behaving (even when it does work).

3. The PalmOS Notes, memo, etc limit of 4,000 characters (and scratchpad limit of 1,000) are limits I have been hitting and manually working around for over a decade (duplicating/splitting records). I am migrating to supposedly-better technology and am surprised to find even lower limits which will force even more manual work.

4. Do Notes fields support any formatting such as TAB as in PalmOS ?

5. I have easily found a failing case for Quick Search using your supplied EZshop db in which I have not made any adjustments.
The default search field appears to be "Item".

If I start typing "bread" as a search, then after typing b or B the bottom line of the table goes blank and the cursor appears, and if I either re-type b or I continue and type r in both cases a red rectangle appears on that line. The record highlight does not move in all this - it's at the second-to-bottom line which is "Chicken Sticks".

This is on Nokia E63 with latest firmware.

Regards,
BBB
bbb
 
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